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2011 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix (Qualifying Race, Nov 19th, TV Notes)

November 20, 2011

Macau. © Creative Commons / Sentoan

Marco Wittmann claimed yesterday’s Formula 3 Qualification Race at Macau, putting himself in pole for today’s Feature Race.

From his initial pole position, the German pilot ran unthreatened to the chequered flag in a race neutralised by a late safety car period.

Admittedly, Wittmann had already lost two of his rivals before the lights went out.  Alexander Sims – racing in his TOM’S Toyota machine – suffered an unfortunate accident on his way to the grid, ending his day before it had even begun.

This was further mirth as the field lined-up for the start, when first gear broke on Antonio Felix da Costa’s Volkswagen-powered Hitech machine. Da Costa would get four laps in eventually, before pulling into the pits to finish.

Wittmann still had to manage further challenges off the line – primarily from GP3 Champion Valtteri Bottas and British F3 Champion Felipe Nasr; however as the trio approached Lisboa corner for the first time, Wittmann held the inside line and the lead, never to be worried again.
With a gap of approximately 1.5 second’s throughout the green flag running, Wittmann held a steady lead, enduring the early prize would be his.

Unfortunately for Bottas, the Finn was squeezed out wide at Lisboa’s tight turn-in point, gifting 2nd spot to Nasr.  Bottas’ difficult opening tour would be compounded on the second circulation, when Formula 3 Euroseries Champion, Roberto Mehri, scythed passed the GP3 victor, demoted Bottas to 4th.
Indeed it was an impressive start for Mehri, who launched himself from 8th on the grid, making up for spots in the opening few turns. Once on Nasr’s tail, Mehri’s progress faltered, as the Brazilian fought to keep the eager Spaniard behind him.
Nasr had an answer for everything Mehri threw at him, ensuring their places would remain unchanged to the flag. Bottas could do little else, but settle for 4th.

Carlin’s Carlos Huertas took 5th ahead of the fast-starting Daniel Juncadella, who came home 6th in his Prema Powerteam Mercedes.
Like Mehri, Juncadella also enjoyed a stellar opening tour, jumping from 11th to 7th, before displacing Signature Racing’s Laurens Vanthoor for 6th and Huertas for 5th.
Unwilling to lose a top-five placing, Huertas retook Juncadella on the lap seven, earning a place on the clean side of the grid for the Feature.  Vanthoor stayed 7th to the flag, just ahead of Daniel Abt (8th, Signature) Kimiya Sato (9th, Motopark) and Hannes van Asseldonk (10th, Hitech).

The race saw relatively few incidents – in fact, only two accidents of note. The first coming on lap seven, as an overeager launched his TOM’S machine over the rear of Mitch Evans’ Double-R Mercedes.
Evans continued to the flag, despite having a damaged rear wing; however Bradley’s day was done.

That was no match for the wreck caused by Sweden’s Jimmy Eriksson, who suffered a huge crash at Faraway on the eighth lap.  Eriksson emerged from the incident unscathed; however his Motopark car did not – with the car in an awkward position, surrounded by a large pool of carbon fibre debris, the safety car was called.
With only two laps remaining, there was not enough time to clear the wreckage, rendering the rest of the race a done deal.

The finishing order in this race represents the grid for the Feature Race.
Race Rating: 3 out of 5

2011 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix (Qualifying Race, 10 laps)
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  Marco Wittmann          Signature Dallara-VW       25m03.719s
 2.  Felipe Nasr             Carlin Dallara-VW            + 0.867s
 3.  Roberto Merhi           Prema Dallara-Merc           + 3.483s
 4.  Valtteri Bottas         Double R Dallara-Merc        + 4.270s
 5.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin Dallara-VW            + 4.850s
 6.  Daniel Juncadella       Prema Dallara-Merc           + 5.381s
 7.  Laurens Vanthoor        Signature Dallara-VW         + 6.512s
 8.  Daniel Abt              Signature Dallara-VW         + 7.228s
 9.  Kimiya Sato             Motopark Dallara-VW          + 8.154s
10.  Hannes van Asseldonk    Hitech Dallara-VW            + 9.337s
11.  Hideki Yamauchi         Toda Dallara-Honda          + 10.200s
12.  Yuhi Sekiguchi          Mucke Dallara-Merc          + 10.789s
13.  William Buller          Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 11.086s
14.  Lucas Foresti           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 11.517s
15.  Richie Stanaway         Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW   + 12.167s
16.  Hywel Lloyd             Sino Vision Dallara-Merc    + 12.888s
17.  Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin Dallara-VW           + 13.967s
18.  Marko Asmer             Double R Dallara-Merc       + 14.933s
19.  Kevin Magnussen         Carlin Dallara-VW           + 15.558s
20.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Signature Dallara-VW        + 16.388s
21.  Felix Rosenqvist        Mucke Dallara-Merc          + 16.924s
22.  Mitch Evans             Double R Dallara-Merc       + 18.601s
Retirements:
     Jimmy Eriksson          Motopark Dallara-VW            7 laps
     Adderly Fong            Sino Vision Dallara-Merc       6 laps
     Richard Bradley         TOM's Dallara-Toyota           5 laps
     Antonio Felix da Costa  Hitech Dallara-VW              4 laps
     Hironobu Yasuda         Three Bond Dallara-Nissan      3 laps
     Carlos Munoz            Signature Dallara-VW            1 lap
     Pietro Fantin           Hitech Dallara-VW              0 laps
     Alexander Sims          TOM'S Dallara-Toyota           0 laps
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